8 Travel Tips to Paris

September 18th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

top 8 travel tips to paris france

Paris has always been the top travel destination for couples but the City of Lovers is also a favorite of women going on tours with their girlfriends. We even included it in our list of Top 9 Destinations for Girlfriend Getaways.

Paris in August can be fun but going to the city anytime of the year is quite lovely especially when you’re travelling with the people you love.

Almost anyone who has been to Paris would say the city is simply beautiful. Whether you’re on a honeymoon, a specialty tour, or a women-only tour, you will have the best time in Paris. Follow these simple travel tips and you’re guaranteed of a memorable trip:

  • Prepare your itinerary.
    Research early on what to do and where to stay while in Paris. Map out your itinerary and prepare a schedule.
  • Have a map handy.
    You can get a real map or download a Maps app on your smartphone or tablet to use. A guide map will help you to not get lost in the city.
  • Visit the Eiffel Tower.
    Of course, a trip to Paris won’t be complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. If you want to go up the tower, expect long lines wrapping the structure. The best time to go there is early in the morning and very late at night to avoid the rush.
  • Make sure you visit the most popular sites in Paris.
    The Notre Dame, The Louvre, and the Luxembourg Garden are only some of the must-see tourist spots in the city. Make the most of your Parisian trip by having your photo taken in these places.
  • Buy a metrocard.
    You will be riding the subway a lot so it is advisable you buy a day pass. It’s cheaper, more economical, and more convenient to use.
  • Buy a museum pass.
    You will also be visiting a lot of museums. Get a museum pass and you’ll save money.
  • Memorize key phrases.
    Learn the basic French phrases so you’ll survive in the city. “Merci!” means ‘Thank you’. “Ou est le metro?” means “Where is the subway?”. To ask “Do you speak English?”, say “Parlez-vous Anglais?”.
  • Get on a boat cruise in the evening.
    End the day with a lovely boat cruise along the Seine River. Discover the City of Lights. You’ll see the beauty of Paris all lit up.

Gateway Destinations can plan a luxurious Parisian trip for you. The team knows best how a women-only journey should go. Taste the regional wines at a local vineyard, learn the secrets of cooking rustic French dishes, or just shop in Paris to your heart’s content.

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7 Things to Remember Before Going on an African Safari

September 3rd, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Going to South Africa on a women-only tour with your girlfriends is definitely something to look forward to. It can be one of the most exciting vacations you and your best friends will ever have.

When people hear you’re going on a South African Africa, they will immediately think of wild animals. Of course, those kinds of animals are the main attraction and a safari is all the more exciting. It is educational at the same time—giving you an unforgettable trip of a lifetime.

Gateway Destinations’ 11-day exclusive adventure through South Africa will include the “big five” and wildlife at the Kruger National Park. After each day of a fun trip, you will retreat to a luxurious lodge reserved only for you.

But how can one survive an African Safari adventure? This involves wild animals so it is important travelers like you know how to survive a safari.

1. Learn basic animal spotting etiquette.
Lower you expectations when entering parks and reserves. Expect that you might not see the big five on your trip as these animals can be elusive. Be patient when other passengers want to stay awhile at an area to spend some time looking for the animals.

2. Don’t get out of the vehicle.
Some areas may be safe but as much as possible, don’t get out of the vehicle especially without the knowledge of a tour guide.

3. Don’t pack a lot of things.
For obvious reasons, do not pack a lot of your stuff. There is no need to bring too many things during your trip. Some safari camps limit luggage weight.

4. Don’t talk loud or too much.
There will be plenty of time for talking with your girlfriends but during a safari ride is not one of them. People’s voices easily distract animals so make sure you keep quiet as much as possible.

5. Don’t be a know-it-all.
Seriously, don’t be. If you know a lot of trivia about an animal, don’t over share. If you’ve been on a safari before, don’t brag about your experience so as not to frustrate other passengers.

6. Turn phone to silent mode or mute the camera.
You are on a safari so don’t think about work. Don’t worry about receiving business calls. Turn phone to silent mode or mute your camera. The constant beeping will annoy the other passengers.

7. Don’t forget to tip your guides, drivers, and camp staff. Thank them for all their hard work.

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Top 8 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations

August 21st, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Top 8 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations

So you’re getting married. While you are too busy with the wedding preparations, don’t forget there is still that honeymoon to plan. Don’t be too stressed with the preparations. Instead, think of the day after— your happily ever after! This is an exciting time for you and your partner. You and your future husband (or wife) must try to enjoy each day as the wedding day draws near.

But if you do not have enough time, you can leave the planning for your honeymoon with us. Gateway Destinations would be glad to plan custom luxury honeymoon tours for you and your love.

We can customize a plan for you. Want to go on honeymoon in Greece? We have the Ancient Athens & the Greek Isles tour. How about Italy? There’s our popular Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre tour in Italy.

Our team can work closely with you each step of the way. Tell us what you want or where you want to go. We will show you what we can plan for you and your fiancé for a honeymoon vacation of a lifetime.

We’ve listed our Top 8 Popular Honeymoon Destinations:

1. Ancient Athens & The Greek Isles
Venture out of Athens in style aboard the Monarch Ocean Countess. For three relaxing days with your new spouse, cruise the sapphire blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Travel to a variety of beautiful Greek Isles and explore the fascinating ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey.

2. Bounties of Bordeaux Wine Cruise
Enjoy a relaxing six-night cruise with your love and the rest of the group in southwestern France on the River Garonne. Pass through the  Gironde Estuary and the Dordogne River near Bordeaux in a cozy air-conditioned hotel barge.

3. Corfu & Crete, Greece
For a wonderful contrast, visit the island of Crete to round off your honeymoon trip to Greece. Largest of the over 4,000 islands in Greece, it has varied topography, remnants of ancient civilizations, and a rich gastronomic culture you and your significant other would definitely enjoy.

4. Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre
Spend relaxing days after stressful weeks of wedding preparations in the other side of Tuscany, the Versilia Coast, with its beautiful and expansive beaches. Venture further south to explore the five cliff-side villages of the Cinque Terre with the love of your life.

5. London Theatre & Shakespeare Country
Absorb the sights and sounds of the busy London with its numerous historical sites and incomparable museums and charming pubs with your new husband or wife. The two of you can enjoy London’s famous live theatre performances.

6. Sensational Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast
Bask in sunny southern Italy on the hillside of Sorrento as you enjoy  your honeymoon. Enjoy a country cooking class, taste regional wines and limoncello, and learn more about olive oil. Visit Naples and Pompeii with your local guide and discover secret shopping places on the isle of Capri.

7. Ultimate Yoga Bliss in Costa Rica
Practice yoga, focus on tapping into your energy within, eat wholesome gourmet healthy food for vitality, relax on the sand as we meditate to the sound and vibration of the ocean. Swim with your love in the oceanfront infinity pool and discover a new you through relaxation and revitalization.

8. Venice, Verona & Lovely Lake Garda
Revel in the unique beauty of Venice with its impressive architecture and network of intricate and romantic canals. Visit the island of Murano, famous for its beautiful glass designs throughout the world. Enjoy the city on a honeymoon tour after the wedding.

Gateway Destinations promises an unforgettable honeymoon adventure. Choose from our numerous honeymoon tour destinations and we’ll make a custom travel plan for you.

 

 

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Want To Extend Your Trip?

August 15th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Did you know that you can often plan a stopover for free or very little additional money when traveling abroad by air?  Overnight or several day stops in major hubs like Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Dubai, Istanbul, Honolulu and even lesser frequented areas like Helsinki and Reykjavik, can be added to your itinerary very cost effectively in many cases.  This may be a nice way to ease a long journey.  Call us for help in enhancing your next adventure!

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7 Ways to Plan a Girlfriend Getaway (Women-Only Tour)

August 14th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

 

7 WAYS TO PLAN A GIRLFRIEND GETAWAY

Going on a fun getaway with your closest girlfriends is important once in a while. You deserve it. If you’re a busy career woman, wife, and mother, you have to take a break on go on a vacation with the ladies in your life.

An adventure with your partner or vacation with the family can be exciting but you still need your girls to keep your sanity. Last week, we presented the Top 9 Destination for Girlfriend Getaways. (Have you chosen your first destination yet?)

This time, we’ll help you plan that upcoming girlfriend getaway for a more memorable bonding experience:

  • LET IT GO.
    Let go of the stress and the guilt of going on a trip. You don’t have to feel guilty of taking a vacation without with your spouse and kids. You’re not leaving them forever so don’t feel sorry for them. You’re only taking some time away to recharge and refocus. You don’t want to be too stressed in life so a quick vacation will help.
  • DISCUSS WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.
    Just because you want to go on a vacation and you deserve it, it doesn’t mean you can just pack your suitcase and go. You have to let your family know and make them understand that you need this trip.
  • GIVE MEANING TO YOUR TRIP.
    You’ve been working too hard in your office or as a hands-on homemaker. You need to celebrate milestones in your life and one way is to go on a getaway with your girlfriends. If there’s no other reason to celebrate, you can still do so just because YOU’RE A WOMAN.
  • DECIDE ON A DATE.
    Because all women are busy, it’s important that you plan ahead. Make a survey of when most of your friends are available. Coordinate with them on the following holidays and maybe check promos on Women-only Tours.
  • ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP.
    Divide the duties and plan ahead. Have one girlfriend book a hotel and another plan your itinerary. Then maybe you can make a checklist of what you need to bring or set the sleeping arrangements. Have your best friend suggest restaurants, tourist destinations, or entertainment. Don’t do the planning all by yourself.You can make a Facebook group or thread for your upcoming trip where you can share and discuss all your plans.
  • DO YOUR CHORES.
    “What? I thought I’m going on a vacation?” Yes. However, you still have duties and responsibilities. Don’t just leave without planning and prepping your household. Discuss with your partner. Make sure necessary things are done in advance or taken care of by somebody else.You can’t just leave your family. You’re too important. And of course, you don’t to think them all the time while you’re away, do you?
  • RELAX. GO ON AND ENJOY.
    It’s so easy to say but it can be a challenge for the OC (Obsessive-Compulsive) and busy women. Relax. It’s just a short trip. Time to refresh and get away. Think of this as a special “business trip” where you need to attend a workshop or seminar for your enrichment.

 

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Top 9 Destinations for Girlfriend Getaways

August 7th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Top 9 GIRLFRIEND GETAWAYS

To travel with your significant other, your kids, and the rest of your family may be fun and memorable but sometimes, a woman needs to go on a break and enjoy a stress-free vacation with girlfriends.

Such trips would mean no lovers, no kids, and no work. It’s just you and your friends on a special women-only tour. Remember the time when you were young during weekend sleepovers? You can still do that but in a more mature and stylish way.

Why not travel in somewhere far where culture is different? A new experience in a new place is best enjoyed with your BFFs.

We’ve listed some of our top recommendations for women-only tours you and your girlfriends will enjoy:

  1. SOUTH AFRICA (African Beauty & The Beasts)A trip to South Africa for 11 days will let you experience the luxurious safari lodge, learn the history and local culture, see the picturesque countryside, and appreciate Cape Town. Enjoy the beaches, the penguins, some wine tasting, and a lot of shopping.
  2. ALSACE, FRANCE (The Alsatian Wine Route)Any town in France is a nice place to visit but the Alsatian Wine Route is for those who enjoy a good wine. Wines are abundant in Alsace thanks to the influence of Germany extending to food and architecture. Your Alsatian travel will begin in Strasbourg and then onto the countryside following the wine route to the beautiful villages of Colmar.
  3. BELLE PROVENCE, FRANCE (France’s Southern Jewel)What is it about France that is so special? There are so many things to love about the country but if you want to enjoy sunny blue skies, perfumed air, and multi-colored fields, then go to Belle Provence. This is considered as France’s Southern Jewel for its rich history and inviting countryside. You and the other women in your life can immerse in the beauty of southern France beginning in the Luberon area of Provence.
  4. TUSCANY, ITALY (Chianti Cooking & Tuscany Spa Retreat)The Italians definitely know how to cook. How about learning a thing or two from real Italian chefs? The cooking and spa retreat will let you taste the world-famous Chianti and Brunello wines, learn how to cook authentic Italian cuisine, and travel deep into the Tuscany countryside.
  5. INDIA (India Unveiled)Enjoy a 13-day adventure in India. Travel to discover the 2,000 year history of Delhi, experience being in an Indian family home, participate in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, and enjoy a fun elephant ride in Amber Fort. And of course, let’s not forget viewing the magnificent Taj Mahal.
  6. PARIS, FRANCE (Paris Couture & Country Chateaux)The mere mention of Paris brings about thoughts of the Eiffel Tower and what else—shopping! But Paris is more than these two. The Paris Couture & Country Chateaux trip will let you explore the Loire Valley, taste regional wines at a local vineyard, and see the mushrooms in limestone caves. You can even learn the secrets of French cooking. All these and more before shopping to your heart’s content in Paris.
  7. FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY (The Pays Basque & French Pyrenees)Awake your senses in the Pays Basque and Pyrénées Mountains. Enjoy the salty air of the Atlantic, the lush mountain valleys, and the green forests. When you’ve explored the nature, you can gaze at the vibrant building facades and the festive clothing of the Basque people. Allow yourself to immerse in the charming secrets of southwestern France.
  8. PERU (Peru in All Its Splendor)Learn how the Peruvian women live. Explore the beauty of the Sacred Valley and learn about Peru’s colonial history by visiting a private colonial art collection. Visit a weaving project to learn more about the modern Peruvian women’s role in the society.
  9. COSTA RICA (Ultimate Yoga Bliss in Costa Rica)If you’re a yoga fanatic, join an ultimate yoga bliss retreat in Costa Rica with your girlfriends or yoga classmates. A wellness-focused Costa Rican getaway will help you rediscover yourself, improve your mood and mind, as well as, release stress. It’s about time you relax and break away from all the work and business of your everyday life. You deserve it.

Every woman deserves to go on a vacation. It will be more special and unforgettable when you go on a special getaway especially designed for the women. For a memorable, customized women-only tour, contact Gateway Destinations.

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Tips on Traveling Light

July 31st, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Now that you’ve finally planned that trip, it’s time to pack your things and prepare yourself for an adventure. For a hassle-free travel, it is important that you bring all things that you need. You sure don’t want any delays so it is best that you are ready.

Getting to your destination is one thing but being well prepared is another thing. If you forget something important, you might have to spend extra money, time, and effort to get whatever it is. The time could have been spent enjoying the tour. You sure don’t want that to happen, do you?

Here are simple tips on packing and traveling light:

    1. Use a small and lightweight bag. Get a bag that is easy to carry and has light but sturdy material. It must be lightweight because you will be carrying it most of the time.  You may use a duffel bag that has wheels too so you can just drag it around when you’re tired.
    2. Know the weather and climate condition of your destination. Check the weather forecast to know what clothes you should bring. No need to bring a jacket if weather is warm. If it is bright and sunny, you may need to bring your hat or sunglasses.
    3. Bring comfortable shoes. Bring ample footwear but please bring only a few pairs of lightweight but comfortable shoes.  You can bring one pair of slippers, a pair of casual shoes, and a pair of walking/running shoes. The latter you could use for going around the city. If weather is cold and snowy, you need to bring shoes or boots that can protect you from the cold.
    4. Plan your wardrobe. This will save you time each morning deciding what to wear. Be minimalist when traveling. Bring only a few items that you can mix and match. You don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe. No need to bring five pairs of jeans as you can use a pair or two the whole trip. It can also be easy to have your clothes washed at the hotel or you can wash them yourself.Make sure that you bring appropriate clothing. There are places that might require both men and ladies to be covered, not showing too much skin. Your travel wardrobe should include enough clean underwear. You can also bring disposables if you want.
    5. Maximize the space inside your bag. You can put socks inside your shoes. Put toiletries inside a pouch. Roll your clothes to save space. Be creative about using the extra space. Learn to compress and conserve.
    6. Pack toiletries right. Most people put toiletries inside a pouch but make sure items are in a re-sealable bag. Wrap a tape around the bottle cap to keep liquid from spilling.
    7. Plan how to bring your special equipment or supplies. This is needed especially if you have small kids. You may need to bring bulky stuff like a stroller a pack-and-play crib for your child. If you are an artist or a musician, you may also need to plan how you are going to transport your instrument and other equipment.
    8. Be practical and smart. Bring all the necessary items with you on your carry-on bag. Have a pen, water, sunglasses, snacks, earplugs, toothbrush, hairbrush, special medicines, or a clean change of underwear.
    9. Do not carry all valuables in one bag. Your bag may be stolen so don’t put all valuables in just one bag.
    10. Take note of precautions and security. Keep your passport, money, credit cards, or ID in a special security pouch.
    11. If not necessary, leave your laptop and other gadgets at home. That is, if you don’t need them. Take time away from your computer, tablet, or handheld gaming console for a while. You are on your vacation so bring just your phone and a camera with you.

 

Image: cmor15 from Flickr | Creative Commons License

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Tourism Forecasts from 2008 to 2016

July 24th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

The US Travel continuously studies the travel sector and look at the different factors that affect spending, the travel volumes, and other economic indicators. The group releases bi-annual domestic forecasts to provide the public information on the performance of the industry, as well as, show prospects for the coming year.

Tourism forecasts are important because they give the travel sector and the travellers a glimpse of tourism by looking at the spending and arrivals of overseas and international visitors.

Since 2008, data just kept on increasing. The US Travel report includes information on the following:

  • Real GDP (in $ billions)
  • Unemployment rate (in %)
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Travel Price Index (TPI)
  • Total Travel Expenditures in US ($ billions)
    US Residents
    International Visitors
  • Total International Visitors to the US (in millions)
  • Overseas Arrivals to the US (millions)
  • Total Domestic Person-Trips (millions)

Real GDP back in 2008 was $14.833.6 billion. Six years later, this 2014, it’s now up to $16,759.7 billion. Next year, it’s predicted to be $17,625.1 billion and $18,514.1 billion the following year (2016).

Unemployment rate went from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 7.5% this year. Consumer Price Index or CPI also went up but with yearly fluctuations.

US Travel Forecasts change each year but one thing is constant: the Americans’ love for travel. A lot of older people travel more for leisure than business. Most of them look to travel to exquisite places like the Ancient Athens and the Greek Isles or  Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre.

For all your travel needs, you may rely on Gateway Destinations to customize a travel plan for you. May it be a honeymoon adventure, women only tours, or European tour, Gateway Destination could plan something for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Your Passport Ready For Travel?

July 15th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

passport requirements, international travelIf you are planning to travel abroad in the next few months or year, take a quick look at your passport to make sure it is adequate for your travel. Does the expiration date and number of blank pages fulfill the visiting country’s requirements?  Normal processing time for renewals and new applications is currently taking about 4 to 6 weeks, but expedited services are available through US Passport Processing Centers or designated private courier services.  An easy-to-understand guide can be found at uspassporthelpguide.com.

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[Infographic] How Travelers Plan Their Trips

July 10th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

How Do Travelers Plan Their Trips

Traveling for a trip can be both exciting and exhausting. It takes a lot of time and effort to research on hotels for accommodations, places to eat, and must-see tourist spots.

In the United States, sources of travelers when planning their trips have changed over the years according to a ‘Domestic Travel Market Report’ by the U.S. Travel’s Research Department.

The shift was because of the mobile devices and social media becoming more popular. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gears have changed the way people search for information. Social media also revolutionized how people share experiences.

Key findings of the 2012 study included information that nearly 31% of travelers relied on past experiences when planning their trips.

About a quarter or 23% of travelers relied on their relatives and friends for information. Ten percent of them checked on destination websites like Gateway Destinations.

Nine percent (9%) trusted travel provider websites. These were mainly hotel, airline, cruise, tours, and rental car websites.

Only 5 percent trusted social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A small four percent (4%) of the travelers used their mobile devices.

The 2012 Domestic Travel Market Report showed that mobile device use and social networking as source improved. From two percent in 2009, use of social sites moved up to five percent (5%). Use of mobile device went from one to four percent (1 to 4%).

The report also revealed that traveling households earn more than non-traveling households. Media Household Income of three groups were also identified:

Domestic leisure travelers – $62,500
Business travelers – $87,500

Meanwhile, average income of the general U.S. population was $52,800.

[Source: US Travel]

Travel agencies like Gateway Destiantions offers all inclusive luxury vacations, women only tours, custom honeymoon adventures, and extraordinary European tours. Allow us to plan a memorable trip for you and your loved ones.

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Contact Us

Gateway Destinations, LLC

PMB #184, 6890 E. Sunrise Drive, #120

Tucson, AZ 85750-0739

info@gateway-destinations.com